How to Balance Writing and Marketing
There is only so much time in the day, and only so much we can all get done. Even Wonder Woman had to take a break now and then.
And to be honest, I’m not convinced there is a true balance. I’ve yet to be completely balanced in all aspects of my life. Something always gets dropped and then I have to scramble to catch up.
Many of us authorpreneurs are also working another job as we build our writing business. This adds another dynamic to an already full plate. It can be extremely challenging to balance writing your book and marketing it, but it HAS to happen if your goal is to create a career as an author.
You can’t have one without the other.
I’ve made the mistake over and over (and over and over) of getting so immersed in my current work in progress (WIP) that I let marketing my books completely fall off the radar. Then it doesn’t take long until my sales drop.
When you aren’t constantly marketing sales will slip. It’s a fact. You always have to be working to get your novels in front of people and attract new readers. It’d be nice if you only had to tweet a couple times, and sales would flood in for years, but business doesn’t work that way.
If it did Coke and Apple wouldn’t spend billions on marketing.
If you want to grow your writing business into a sustainable living, then you must find the balance as best as possible which means the balance that works best for you.
The good news is writing and marketing are different processes for most people. The energy, effort, and focus it takes to write a book is different than what it takes to curate content for Facebook, write tweets, or a blog post.
One aspect of balancing your tasks is knowing when you are at your best for both processes and schedule your time accordingly.
Make sure you’re organized and work even when you don’t feel like it.
For example, I can sit in front of the TV and schedule social media posts. I don’t need quite the mental focus or energy to do that. Whereas writing takes all my concentration and writing and watching TV would be recipe for disaster.
To find that elusive balance you must plan.
I am a big believer in planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail and all that.
Step 1: Set Goals for writing and marketing – monthly/weekly
To stay organized and set yourself up for success you first want to set overall goals for what you want to accomplish during a certain time frame.
I try to plan out my writing and marketing goals a month at a time, and then I break that bigger goal down to a smaller set of goals for each week.
On Sundays, I sit down and plan my upcoming week. I make sure I work in all the work that needs to get done to reach my weekly objectives.
I set priorities for each day which helps because if something comes up, and it often does at least one day out of the week, I know what I HAVE to do and what I can roll over to the next day.
A tip when scheduling your time is to pad it a little for those unforeseen tasks and urgent emails.
Step 2: Review your previous week
I also review on Sunday evenings what I accomplished the week before and make sure I’m working on the right things. Another thing that is useful to me is I have an accountability call every Monday with a friend who’s also an entrepreneur.
We discuss our upcoming week and previous week and give each other support and feedback. And sometimes a reality check. Like when I started listing all the work I was going to do on a recent flight and he reminded me the flight was 3 hours, not 30.
To be ready for that call I have to do my Sunday routine, so it helps motivate me on the days I don’t feel like it.
Step 3: Get your schedule out of your head
Scheduling your time is a must to stay organized. You might think you have it all in your head but until it’s all down in black and white, you can easily forget things. Of course, you’ll remember them when you least have time and it will throw your entire schedule off.
Step 4: Be realistic
It’s easy to overcommit yourself. I know how it is. There is so much you want to get done, and you think you can do it all.
Maybe you can but often you can’t.
Usually, over scheduling comes from not having a complete grasp of everything a certain task will take or an overzealous idea of how much you can get done.
Managing time and tasks isn’t rocket science, but can be hard to keep yourself on task. You may have to give up things that aren’t central to moving you toward your goal and if those things are fun things they can be hard to give up.
That’s why it’s so important to celebrate your victories no matter how small. It will keep you motivated and thankful you worked on your business instead of holding the couch down.
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